Explore Yosemite - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Yosemite Map
VIEW FULL MAP

This was my very first hike and it was spectacular! I started at 6:30 AM and quickly learned that the trail wouldn't be as easy as I had thought. The first 1.5 miles are a strenuous uphill walk. I was completely exhausted within the first 10 minutes but the reward at the end was worth it. I started at 6:30 AM and was back at the trailhead at 10:20 AM.

Lower Cathedral Lake was absolutely gorgeous. I was the only one at the lake so it was like my own retreat. I would definitely hike this trail again and I recommend this trail for beginner hikers. Just bring plenty of water. I went through 4 bottles.

This trail has amazing views! We hiked all the way up to Nevada falls, it was a hard hike with A LOT of stairs. Once you get to venal falls, the crowd starts to disperse. Bring lots of water for this hike and sunscreen. This hike is on the hard side but the views from the top make it worth it!! Take the John Muir trail back, it adds a mile but you get to see another side of the waterfall by taking the John Muir trail back.

My best friend and I found this trail when we visited Yosemite a few summers ago. This was a bit difficult as it was ALL uphill so go prepared with water and light snacks! Once you hike about 30 min, you will come up to a break area with water fountains for drinks/bathrooms, etc.
Then after, there are some stone steps which are very steep and possibly slippery due to the mist waterfall. Those will take you all the way up to the top of the waterfall, as well as a cold swimming hole to swim in after the hike! There is an area where you can slide down the smooth rock into the water. We just jumped in and swam to the other side of the hole. We went in late June so it was amazing to jump into and then lay on the hot rock on the other end. No towel needed since we dried off pretty quick! I know the hike continued on but we stopped there, turned around and made our way back down to the bottom. That was the easy part since it was all downhill,especially after the cool down in the swimming hole.

I’d do this hike again but I’d be more prepared next time physically! If you aren’t in shape physically, this will be a tough hike for you! You probably won’t make it to the top if you bring young children due to the steepness towards the top. Can be a bit dangerous. If they are older and mature enough to handle the hike, it would be worth it as they would enjoy the swimming hole! Makes for a great reward! The trail was pretty populated, but it will thin out towards the top due to the length & difficulty of the hike. Very beautiful scenery during the entire hike! Bring a camera! Afterwards, we couldn’t believe we’d only hiked 1.5 miles up to the top! Felt much longer!

I feel like I would have enjoyed this more if I weren’t shoulder to shoulder with other hikers. Especially with the narrowing of the trail along the steps close to the falls. The trail was PACKED.

This might well be the most beautiful view I have ever seen. If you can walk up an incline, hike this trail before you die.

hiking
14 days ago

nice hike but not super scenic on the way. The lakes are beautiful, specially the upper one. Make sure you take a good mosquito spray. I have never seen so many mosquitoes in my life !

Take the mist trail up to Nevada Falls, and then come back down the John Muir Trail. The views of Liberty Cap are amazing from the ridge line as you are leaving Nevada Falls. The trail is crammed with people, so be prepared and leave early. Hike is much harder than you would think based on the number of people there.

oh my goodness. I did this hike with a 25 pound child on my back which made the hike 10x harder. very steep climb to the top and very slippery. the view was stunning on the bright side.

Seen a reviewer post previous to mine asking about dogs (Lauren Woods)...i believe i did see a dog on this trail when we went BUT i wouldnt recommend taking a dog to the top of the falls. The trail starts off paved before tuning to dirt mixed with stone staircase...the stones arent an even 8" or 10" step, they vary alot and some of the steepest parts its easily 18"-2ft in a step up height, plus a narrow railing at the end to get to the top of first falls. PLUS this is a very crowded hike, so if you arent on your way down and almost finished with the hike by 10AM u will be dodging the "ant trail" of people on their way up that started at like 9:30 or 10am. The hike down was not fun with all the people but overall avery fun trail moderate trail. Not sure how much water is left but we hike 1st week of June and it was perfect. I have some photos posted of the trip, specifically a couple of the falls if anyone want to see for perspective. My IG is @m_packmore

hiking
16 days ago

During Late-July, the weather was filled with clear and smoky skies. The Ferguson fire made a big impact on the conditions. Most of the day in Tuolumne Meadows, the skies were blue until around 3pm. At the trail head, park along the road. Find yourself hiking up the transverse. The elevation is pretty high for a valley person like me. Warming upwards, the hike is nice but very popular. The climb from the trail head to lower Cathedral Lake is around 1000 feet. Climb another 200 feet to the Upper Cathedral Lake which provided another good view. Throughout the hike, find flowers and foliage that are pretty. Overall, nice hike.

Hiked on 7/24. LOTS of smoke from the Ferguson fire. Trail has a small rocky section (around mile 3.5) that may be hard for small children/adults with balance issues. Lakes totally worth the climb. BRING WATER.

I have a quick question- I am gearing up to go on this hike! Are dogs allowed?

Very hard at the beginning but so nice !

Best view of Yosemite falls in the park IMO

Very cool and relaxing hike up the falls. Took about 3 1/2 hours round trip but that was just to the top of Nevada fall. The most from the falls feels good for about the last 1/2 mile. Very populated trail btw. Also accesible form the John Muir trail

Amazing hike, falls, and final destination at the top of the falls!

Great trail, if you doing a full loop it is probably too hard for younger kids and Its just over 12 miles. Make sure you have plenty of water.

Do yourself a favor, take the bus to Glacier Point and hike all the way back down to the valley. You can hit up Nevada and Vernal falls on the way down, plus a bonus of crossing over Illilouette falls on the way to Nevada. This hike is for the most part all down hill, so for those who find going up the trail to Vernal and Nevada, this will be much more doable. The views are spectacular!

An absolute must for first timers, soak your feet at the top in the ice cold water until they’re numb, it’ll make the trip down easier.

Absolutely wonderful! A little tough if you aren’t used to hiking a lot but the views are well worth it!

hiking
26 days ago

Love this trail. Beautiful scenery along the trail that finally opens up to an amazing meadow, the likes of which I had never seen growing up in Vegas. I don't think we actually made it to the upper lake because we couldn't really tell where the trail continued from, but we were certainly satisfied with what we did see. The first climb at the beginning can be hard, but then it gets pretty easy.

An absolute must! An amazing hike to soak in the magnitude that is Yosemite. If hiking in the summer, start early to avoid the sun as well as the crowds. As others before have, I suggest taking the John Muir trail back down to avoid the crowds and the wet rock steps going back down the trail. This is one of the most beautiful hikes I’ve ever done! .....when you do it early.

This is my first time going to Nevada falls. I've done the Vernal Falls part of the trail multiple times. I loved making the entire loop. It was a beautiful hike that I can't wait to do again.

First time to Yosemite and First hiking trail...I loved it great work out..

Not too crowded when my sister and I went in May. It was quite an incline but very beautiful and peaceful at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike was surprisingly beautiful and away from the crowds. We went to watch the sunset & star gaze. There were a handful of people there, but we were alone not long after the sun started going down. Not a very difficult hike for someone in average shape. Very short & not too much of an uphill climb. Definitely suggest passing the general parking area for the trail and continuing down the road just a bit until you get to a service road on the left hand side. There is a small parking area directly across the street. You can hike this service road right up to the trail which will cut a good portion of the distance off of your hike:-) The 360 degree view of Yosemite is well worth it! Just stunning!

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely LOVED this hike! we love hiking on vacation every year, but being from Florida means that's about the only time we are able to do it. We are not in amazing shape, but not horrible either. I will say that the hike in (via Dog Lake Trail) was pretty intense for us. We were praying for no more uphill climbing & begging for the lake to finally come into view! We still have a hard time believing that the mountain trail distance markers are right...they sure do seem like the longest miles on the face of the planet! Lol We got a pretty late start (about 1pm) so it was a bit hotter than we liked. However, majority of the time there was a nice breeze and the woods kept a nice comfortable temp. I have to say that this was one of the prettiest hikes throughout the entire trail that we have done. Some trails are all about the destination. This one was beautiful the entire time. The destination did not disappoint by any stretch of the imagination! The lakes were absolutely breathtaking! I definitely recommend not setting up camp immediately when entering the area around the lake. As tired as we were, we decided to hike around the lake a bit to look for the best spot. We crossed the falling creek about 1/4 of the way around the lake and found "the perfect" hard spot just up in the trees. Nobody else camped on that side of the creek. So we were pretty much all by ourselves over there with the sound of the waterfalls on the creek to lull us to sleep at night. We also had our own flat rock on the lake to go sit out on every night and every morning. Couldn't have asked for a better more tranquil setting! Then the hike up to the 2 other upper lakes was just as if not more awe inspiring than the 1st lake! The hike out via Glen Aulin trail was a very gradual decent and very picturesque as well. We spent 3 days total...Day 1 (started super late) hiked in from 1pm - 5pm then set up camp & just enjoyed the area. Day 2 we hiked up to the upper lakes from about 8am until about 3pm. Did some fishing back at the bottom lake & just relaxed rest of the day. Day 3 we packed up and headed out about 8am and arrived at our car at 11:30am. Absolutely the most peaceful and relaxing backpacking trip we have ever done! Well worth the work!

we just finish the trail in vernal waterfall, it's so beautiful there and I will give 5 stars for the trail!

Possibly my favorite hike in the world!

hiking
1 month ago

Great little walk for an amazing view of Half Dome and the valley floor.

Load More